Operation Urth Magik

  • Release Date: 2001-08
  • Author: Fatty, Tronyn, Apollo, Tyrann
  • Genre: Quake
  • Rating: 92

Tronyns Review

I was surprised when I made it onboard this project as all I had released for Quake at the time was the first phantasm. If you can believe it I had just released that, Fatty had just released Rc2 and Tyrann had just released Moonlit Assault! It was so long ago (Fall 1999!). I had demo'd a small Egyptian/Runic map to Fat Controller who was considering using it for a secret map, a side-journey, or even a finale map. Well it became the finale map as Fatty and I worked on the story and the Egyptian theme was introduced to the project. I created my major map, Tomb of Urth Majik, for this project, up to a pre-beta stage fairly quickly. But then in the following spring I concentrated more on Pg2 and CoE, and I made Fatty help on those! So OUM kind of lagged due to me there. After those were out I wanted to concentrate more on OUM and only did some deathmatch maps on the side, but my map was getting larger and larger and more and more frustrating. Fatty was having troubles with OUM2 so we swapped maps; however mine was too big for his system so Tyrann ended up taking it! Then again it was my fault when I failed to start work on OUM2 for some months. Eventually I finished that map about the same time as OUM1 and OUM3 were completed. Then Fatty did OUM4 very quickly. Throughout the development we had troubles with many other authors leaving - probably for every one of the four of us that stayed, there were four who offered to help but didn't or started to and left!

All in all despite all of the feces we waded through, I think we came out with a polished product, and something no Q1SP player can be without. Fat Controller went through a lot of crap to get this done, some of it from myself, and he deserves much respect for it.

Tronyn's Score: 90

[Kona]s Review

Operation Urth Magik is a Quake partial conversion that was started by Rob Cruickshank a couple years ago (I lost track how many years exactly!). It has seen a number of mappers come and go (lost track of how many) but through thick and thin Fatty, Tronyn, Apollo and Tyrann came through to deliver a fantastic Q1SP addon for 2001.

You play a scientist/security guard (whoever works at a base). Strange things start happening and inside the base a new top secret building is erected. No one knows what is inside, but soon Quake has awoken to the mystery and has now overrun the entire complex. It's up to you to take it back. The story is nicely delivered, nothing revolutionary like Nehahra's four hour movie, but it sets up a theme and good atmosphere.

You set off in the first map made by Fat Controller, a small but vertical totally IKBase map. There is alot of detail, particularly to make the base seem more realistic such as computer consoles, tables, lifts etc. The level is easy, but there are only 1-2 health packs provided so you still need to be careful. As the blues start to appear you have a nice surprise - nails.

The second map is much bigger, and well made to represent a waste facility. One section is a number of rooms filled with barrels and crates. But suddenly all the lights go out and a pack of Fiends emerge from the larger containers, making a very frantic and even scary environment.

Tyrann's map came next, one which seemed to be the favourite among most. Very good architecture and designs were throughout the map, and the IKBase textures are used well. The level is very large with a variety of designs that include some transitions to underground caves. Gameplay was good, steadily getting tougher than the previous two levels, but it was quite easy to lose your bearings.The next level was another by Fat Controller, made in the later stages of development to fill the void other mappers had left. It uses totally different textures, which did interrupt the consistent IKBase style seen in all the map so far.Metlslime's Oblivion textures were put to use, which ended up looking very good. A mix with IKBase and some of the brown Oblivion textures would have worked better. Nevertheless, this was supposed to represent a brand new area - the secret building. So it does need to be a little different from the rest.

The final level by Tronyn was my personal favourite. It mixed the IKBase set with a few different styles, to create an original looking modern temple. This combination of the human base textures and the Quake medieval/temple textures worked well to resemble the shift to Quake's world. While Tyrann's map was very large, Tronyn's was huge. However some may feel that there is too much variety in design styles. Gameplay was great right down to the finish with a rather epic final battle. In fact this alone could have been the ending to an excellent pack.

But, a final small map was added. Basically one small floating platform where a few Egyptian style fighters spawn and shoot bolts from their staffs. With not much room to move, these guys are still very easy to fight (for a boss) and really don't provide the battle one would hope for. The map itself looked good with a giant face flying around you. Still, alot better than the epic battle at the end of Zerstorer which lasted all of a few seconds!

Gameplay is excellent throughout, steadily getting tougher in each level. It was all well balanced with plenty of ammo and health except in Tyrann's map where I ran out of shells. The modifications aren't all revolutionary, but still great fun. Grunts now fire nails. Enforcers spit out rockets and also have shields. There are also laser turrets which were used not too often. Drones were flying objects armed with lasers/cells. They also came equipped with a self destruction mechanism which was very entertaining to watch and try to dodge. In the second half a few more standard Quake monsters make their appearance, including Hell Knights, Knights, Ogres and even Shamblers. Many of the monsters have been reskinned in in blue, which really turned out quite well.

Great new and modified monsters with new skins, and a mostly well balanced game to the end, if you excuse the mild final map. Along with professional design, good architecture, and the a consistent base style, OUM is an excellent addon to Quake.